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Killer Dinosaur Older than T Rex Discovered in Utah, Roamed Earth 100 Million Years Ago

Update Date: Nov 22, 2013 09:38 PM EST
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The tyrannosaurs or T. rex as its commonly called, has been well known for being a massive carnivorous dinosaur that walked the Earth some 98 million years ago. It even debuted in Jurassic Park, striking fear wherever he went. Now a new discovery has been made of a killer dinosaur that roamed in what is now Utah some 100 million years ago.

Researchers from the Field Museum in Chicago and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh announced the finding Friday in the journal Nature Communications.

According to the research report, this gigantic creature was estimated to be more than 30 feet high and weigh over 3 tons, making it the third largest creature ever discovered in North America. Researchers say the killer dinosaur could have been even larger than this as the bones found are believed to belong to a juvenile.

The new killer dinosaur has been named Siats meekerorum, (SEE'-otts MEE-ke-ROH'-ruhm) after a man-eating monster of legend from Utah's Ute tribe, and a family that has donated to the Field Museum.

"It's not only a new cool dinosaur, but from my perspective, it alters our picture of the entire ecosystem of that time," said Peter Roopnarine, an ancient ecologies expert and curator at the California Academy of Sciences, according to Wired.

The discovery of Siats fills an important gap in knowledge, said paleontologists Lindsay Zanno of N.C. State University and the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences and Peter Makovicky of Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History who found the ancient animal.

Paleontologists had been unsure not only what had ruled from atop the food chain during its apparent reign, but also what other species of dinosaurs thrived there and then.

"We're really missing almost everything from that ecosystem," Zanno said.

The researchers said they also have more important finds to report on, and could announce another species as soon as next year, Zanno said. 

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